Big Joel Stubbs has been voted back in as the president of the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF). He will serve for four more years after he was victorious in an extraordinary electoral meeting this past Saturday at J-Line Fitness on Shirley Street.
Stubbs defeated his opponent Wellington “Cat” Sears by a count of 46-15.
The entire outgoing executive team was voted back in except for Secretary General Lillian Moncur, who decided not to re-enter the race.
Stephen Robinson was voted in as secretary general. Kendal Green was returned as first vice president, and Brittany Hamilton retained her post as treasurer. Zenetta Cambridge is the new assistant treasurer and new assistant secretary.
The newly elected president said it feels good to be back in as president and in a position to help the athletes follow their dream.
“After this obstacle, I am happy to be back in to continue the trend and platform that we have previously set for the federation. The athletes knew from the time that we got in, it was all for me trying to improve our conditions here with bodybuilding and fitness and give back. I already did it, I already had my time and I saw the world so I just want to be in the position where I can help these athletes who are trying to follow their dreams and compete for The Bahamas in the world. I already been there so I can show them the way and what it is all about – me doing what I had planned to do from day one. These athletes deserve it and I am happy to be a part of it,” Stubbs said.
The BBFF is under the umbrella of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB). There was a situation that stemmed from December 2018 where there was a competition held at the Atlantis Resort under the auspices of the National Physique Committee (NPC) – a rival bodybuilding and fitness organization of the IFBB. The BBFF was asked not to recognize the event, and Stubbs said the only wrongdoing he did according to the IFBB was to ask for sanctioning money from the NPC.
“They had an event over Paradise Island in a private setting and brought athletes from the United States and other parts of the world to compete over here,” he said. “The only thing that the IFBB gave me some level of wrongdoing was the fact that the show came to the islands and I figured it was a platform for us to get some money from them to let them know that if you’re doing bodybuilding in this country, you have to pay funding to the local federation. I was just looking after this organization to put money in the kitty to help support what we do here locally because everyone know that the support is very minute. We get just a few dollars from the ministry of sports and that’s it. The corporate world is not supporting bodybuilding and fitness at this present time. I’m going to continue to push hard to see how we can get to the minds of Corporate Bahamas. As we know, things are still rough in the country all around. If they can just give us something small, whatever it is, that will help. We went after them, we got a few dollars, and it went in the bank,” Stubbs added.
Stubbs said that it was reported to the IFBB headquarters in Madrid, Spain and the Caribbean office, that he was supporting the NPC. He said that it is his belief that someone took information from a WhatsApp group chat and sent it to the IFBB head office and to the Caribbean office, and was pushing for his suspension. He said that was the reason for his short-lived suspension.
Central American and Caribbean Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (CACBBFF) Vice President and President of the Antilles Region Danny Sumner said that he was mandated to ensure that a proper nomination and election took place on Saturday.
“The IFBB concluded that after they suspended Joel, that the BBFF, was dissolved as an organization. The IFBB is a serious thing. As a result, with my being the area vice president, everything was put in my hands. I was given a mandate to make sure that proper nomination and election took place to resolve the situation. While that was going on, they got some complaints from Wellington Sears. A challenge was made. Mr. Sears was saying that all the executives in the federation had resigned and he was the only one left. He said that IFBB had appointed him as president or caretaker for the federation. That news never got to me, with me being vice president of the region,” Sumner explained.
Sumner is also a former president of the BBFF. He went further to say that the IFBB wanted a fresh start, and to make sure that everybody was satisfied with the electoral process.
“Going forward, The Bahamas is going to be in a precarious situation. The IFBB will be looking at the governance of The Bahamas. One of the major problems that is facing this Bahamas organization is their doping method. The IFBB was concerned that the athletes in the BBFF weren’t getting the proper doping procedure. As a result, that led to another investigation. That is why this whole thing came to a head. The IFBB wanted a fresh mandate, and to make sure that everybody is satisfied,” Sumner explained.
Stubbs said Kendal Green, first vice president, was there pushing the athletes as best as he could in Stubbs’ absence, letting them know that bodybuilding and fitness in the country would go on. He told them know that they are still going to have shows and there will be a national team and things would happen as they should, said Sumner. As Green did that, Sumner said that some of the athletes got back on stream with competitive training.
Stubbs said to his knowledge, a lot of the athletes are in good shape and are looking forward to this year’s nationals set for the month of August. He said the new executive team will have an immediate meeting and determine if August would be the best month to host the nationals. Stubbs said in any event, they will have time to prepare a national team for the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships in Ponce, Puerto Rico in October.
As for working with Sears, Stubbs said: “That’s another page and another chapter in the federation’s book that we will have to sit down as a team after knowing the circumstances and all the obstacles and things that happened, and how we see it going forward. That is something we are going to have to take a look at, take our time and see how best we deal with it.”
Stubbs thanked the voters and his team for being instrumental in his victory on Saturday.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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